I ordered from this company before I had seen any reviews. I was quite disturbed to see so many negative ones after I had already placed my order. I got the package in the mail and was happy to see that everything was still alive and in great shape. The only mild issue I would say I had was that I didnt receive an email letting me know when the order had been shipped.
Started a new aquarium. Bought an "easy Life Plant Habitat"
plant assortment, then a selection of fish in 2 shipments. I was somewhat irritated about being unable to get call or email answer to some questions per the web page. BUT the plants and fish arrived the next day and fully met my expectations. A few casualties but such is life. and it was December. Bought some odd fish unavailable elsewhere as best I can tell at reasonable prices.
I'm somewhat surprised at the negative comments. Except for communications problems I was quite satisfied with the three experiences and will definitely deal with these folks again. I wonder if someone is trying to sabotage their rep.
OK, I must say that I was horrified when I read some of the negative reviews, especially since I did my research AFTER placing the order on-line with Arizona Aquatic Gardens. I placed an order on Monday morning from the East Coast for several very rare and unique species of aquatic plants and fish. I carefully read the terms and conditions on the vendors website and noted that most plant & live fish orders were shipped on Thursdays. I received an e-mail from UPS informing me of the shipment and tracking number on the Thursday of that same week and received all of the plants ordered on Friday. All of the plants ordered were in very good condition, and some of them exhibited such prolific growth upon arrival, that I was able to separate them and derive several healthy plants from a single-plant purchase. The shipping charge was based on the weight of the overnight package and matched UPS' rate chart to the penny. I must admit that the shipping cost was high, but this was the rate that UPS charged to ship an overnight package. Wait... I have not yet mentioned the live fish. My only disappointment was that the fish that I ordered were not in the package with the plants that were ordered on the same day. I was so looking forward to receiving these specimens, since I have never seen this species offered in any aquarium store (I'm 53 years old) and I thought that they would complement my aquarium at home very nicely. I read the terms and conditions on their website again and it said that the invoice would show that I had a back-order if the order was not shipped complete. I also noted that AZAG would only charge 50% of the standard shipping charge for back-orders and that I would have the opportunity to chance this order if desired. I waited one week... and no shipment. I e-mailed AZAG the second Monday (since their website explains that they are very busy with filling orders the rest of the week and Monday is the best time to contact them) and I received a response from Peter stating that my order would be going out in this weeks shipment. Shipment went out as promised, confirmed by e-mail from UPS and I received my two houseguests by overnight mail on Friday. As agreed, the UPS charges were charged only at half the standard rate. Note: All specimens arrived healthy and alive and are currently thriving and growing well in my home aquarium. Although I would have preferred the entire order to arrive in one shipment, after calculating the additional cost incurred for shipping, the difference paid was negligible. Overall, my experience was good.
I too ordered a number of invertebrates from Arizona Aquatic Gardens which arrived almost all dead, but it was through no fault of theirs. My wife's brother suffered a heart attack and my wife, who is usually home, was at the hospital when the first two delivery attempts were made, so the shrimp had spent three cold days on FedEx planes and trucks before I could pick them up after work the next day. Everything was dead except for one lone cherry shrimp and the mussels. (My wife jokes that that was the most expensive freshwater shrimp ever sold, cost about a buck and a quarter for a 1/4" shrimp.) They did make a follow-up call and I explained the situation, and they were extremely nice, even offering to give me a full credit for the order (not including shipping of course.) I didn't take them up on that because it was completely not their fault and I wouldn't have felt right about it, and I never again ordered because I didn't want to risk even another $50 shipping, so I can't say for sure how they would have performed had we been home to receive the order, but I certainly had no complaints with their service. Everything ordered was correct in the order as well and was well packed in two large standard styrofoam fish boxes.
The shipping was quite expensive, but since I have shipped live fish next day air the cost wasn't totally unexpected. This was several years ago and they may not even be under the same ownership so your mileage may vary, but my experience with the company was as positive as it could have been considering the circumstances.
On Aug 3, 2009, dow San Juan Capistrano, CA wrote:
I have been a faithful customer of AZ Aquatics for several years, and I have always been impressed with every facet of their company. I've ordered shrimp, fish, and plants, and they have always been of the highest quality. Also, importantly, when I have called and talked with someone at AZ, they have always been very friendly, knowledgeable, and eager to help. I am really surprised to read such negative reviews, and joined Dave's Garden forum just so I could go on record as saying I absolutely would - and do - recommend AZ Aquatics to anyone who loves aquarium critters as I do.
I was so surprised by the negative comments that I felt I had to relate my three experiences with AZA. There were several years between the these orders. Both times I ordered aquatic plants, I ordered large quantities of a variety of South American plants. All of the plants arrived in great shape, well wrapped in wet paper. The time I ordered fish (Siamese Algae Eaters) I got them promptly and all in good shape. I had no problems with them or their service and am planning an even larger order to be placed this week.
Not the most personable people on the phone and I don't like not knowing the shipping charges upfront (although it is bluntly stated on their website in several places that they charge separately for the shipping and that they charge by actual weight of the boxes). Based on the weight and size of the boxes, I feel they charge fairly.
I recommend them for the quality of their plants and livestock. I was very happy with the condition of my orders.